When You Don’t Need a Whole Cheesecake: Individual No-Bake Cheesecakes
I am amazed by and in awe of people who love to bake. Baking is an exacting science that I have not mastered. With that said, I choose to stay in my lane and bake on occasion only when I have a recipe. I will buy cookies, cakes, and pies. If I assemble any dessert on a reguIar basis, it is banana pudding, yogurt parfaits, no bake cheesecakes, or some type of doctored up fruit.
One Saturday, while watching a movie that didn’t hold my interest, my mind drifted to how was I going to satisfy my sweet tooth. It didn’t help that an orange juice commercial came on showing different uses for mason jars. Before the commercial break was over, I looked in the refrigerator to see one package of cream cheese, whole strawberries, and sweet potatoes. The wheels began to spin. I sliced the strawberries up, added a tad bit of key lime juice, and some agave nectar.
The next day I turned on package of cream cheese into two different no bake cheesecakes.
The one thing I would change is the simulated graham cracker crust layer in the bottom of the jars. I would either use mini vanilla wafers, crumbled graham cracker pieces, or simply not add the layer to the bottom of the jar.
1 8oz container Cream Cheese
2 Vanilla Beans (or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract)—I prefer Vanilla Beans
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar (or Pure Cane Sugar)—I prefer Agave Nectar
1 pint Heavy Cream (or 1 cup)
ONEAdd Cream Cheese to bowl.
TWOSlice each bean in half & scrape its contents into the bowl (discard outer pod unless you want to use it to infuse your favorite oil or liquor).
THREEAdd Agave Nectar.
FIVEAdd Heavy Cream and mix until smooth.
2 medium Sweet Potatoes
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Agave Nectar
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 Stars of Anise
ONEBake sweet potatoes for 30 minutes or until done (Wrap each sweet potato in aluminum and poke holes in each potato with a fork).
TWORoast the Star of Anise in a sauce pan on low heat for 5 minutes.
THREEAdd butter to sauce pan.
FOURRemove star of anise from butter.
FIVEWhen sweet potatoes are fully cooked, allow to cool (I removed the foil and ran under cold water for a quick second.
SIXMash sweet potatoes in a bowl.
SEVENAdd nutmeg, cinnamon, agave nectar, and seasoned butter.
NOTEIf you would like a smoother texture to the sweet potato mixture, add a ¼ cup of milk of choice. Add mixture to food processor. Mix until smooth.
1 pound of fresh Strawberries
1 teaspoons of Key Lime juice (lemon or regular Lemon Juice will work. I ran out of both.)
1 teaspoon Agave Nectar
ONEClean and slice strawberries (Remember to discard the green tops).
TWOAdd Key Lime juice and Agave Nectar.
THREECover strawberries and place in refrigerator until chill (I prefer to let the juicy goodness of all fruits to sit overnight.)
Graham Cracker Layer:
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 tablespoon Butter
ONEMelt Butter in microwavable bowl.
TWOAdd Graham Cracker crumbs and sugar.
NOTEClean 4 pint size mason jars. Ensure the mason jars have tops.
ONELayer the bottom of each jar with Graham Cracker mixture.
TWOPress until firm (mixture will still be somewhat loose).
THREEAdd Cream Cheese mixture and then add Strawberries to 2 of the jars.
FOURContinue to layer Cream Cheese and Strawberries.
FIVEComplete the layer process with the Cream Cheese mixture and Sweet Potato mixture to the remaining 2 jars.
SIXPlace jars in refrigerator and allow to chill of at least 3 hours.